Radhika Nagpal dishes out some very sensible advice that is not dished out as often as it should be.
In 2004 when I came to Harvard as a junior faculty, I wrote it on my desk. This-is-a-7-year-postdoc.
I type it in every day. For all seven+ years I have been at Harvard. No joke.
It is an incredibly liberating point of view. If I’m not here for tenure, then there are a bunch of things I do not need to do. For example, I don’t need to spend my seventh year travelling doing the tenure talk circuit (I did not do this), or make sure I invite and get to know personally exactly 18 folks who might be my letter writers, or be on organizing committees so everyone important knows me well, or try to get nominated for awards as fast and as young as possible (I just turned 42). Frankly most of this is not possible to actually do!